Some readers of this blog, the CompostMaster and I recently took on the challenge presented in The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet by Mark Hyman, MD. Dr. Hyman is one of the physicians featured in the recent movie Fed Up.
We carefully reviewed the diet, which was recommended to us by our doctor, before we committed to follow it. Neither of us wanted to try anything too crazy. For example, I wanted to make sure it included real food and wasn’t primarily liquid-based. So, even though the word “detox” is in the title, it isn’t a “cleanse.” It’s primarily about getting off sugar, caffeine, alcohol, grains and dairy.
So why did we decide to detox?
For me, it was all about my blood glucose, specifically my fasting numbers. I’ve been suffering from the dawn effect for quite a while and nothing seemed to consistently bring my fasting numbers down. After more than a decade of following the American Diabetes Association’s dietary guidelines, I found they just didn’t work for me anymore. I didn’t want to add another medication unless absolutely necessary so I tried giving up wheat and going vegan. While that regimen may work perfectly well for some, it didn’t work for me since most vegan sources of protein also contain carbohydrates. My post-meal BG numbers were controlled, but my fasting numbers were not. I decided the diet recommended in the detox was going to be my last attempt at controlling my BG with diet and metformin only.
For the CompostMaster, although he’s amazingly healthy, he has been having trouble losing weight, specifically around his middle. After reading the book, we became convinced the detox would work for both of us.
In just 10 days, the CompostMaster and I accomplished the following:
- We both kicked caffeine, tea for me and coffee for him.
- He lost 8 pounds and I lost 5.
- My fasting blood glucose dropped more than 60 points between Day 1 and Day 10. (Yes, it was embarrassingly high at the start.)
- I lost two full inches off my waistline.
Things You Should Know
If you are considering the detox, here are a few things you might want to know so you can plan accordingly:
- The process will be much easier if you have a support group. Try to find a family member or friend to do the detox with you.
- Your diet will primarily consist of poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, non-starchy vegetables, lots of greens, avocados, coconut & olive oil, nuts and seeds. You’ll get to eat a little bit of fruit in your morning smoothie and a dinner choice or two features beef.
- You will spend a lot of time cooking, chopping and preparing food.
- If you aren’t normally at home during the day (e.g. you work in an office), I recommend you start the detox on a Saturday. You may not feel great the first couple of days (especially if you are trying to kick caffeine) and your body needs time to adjust to all of the changes.
- You will think about poop more often than you ever have in your life.
- There will be times that you are in a bad mood, feel exhausted and/or have a headache. Know that these symptoms are temporary and that, in just a few days, the pain totally will be worth it because you will feel so alive and energetic.
- Make sure to eat your snacks. I skipped my afternoon snack one day and really, really, really wanted to go out to dinner that night because I was so hungry I didn’t want to take the time to cook. Fortunately, the CompostMaster offered to make dinner. (Yes, I’m a lucky girl to have this kind of support at home.)
- The recipes in the book were not written by someone who cooks often! The instructions might tell you to pour dressing on a salad and then go cook a piece of chicken. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like soggy greens! Read the recipes carefully and see if the steps make sense or if you need to make some adjustments.
- If you don’t like the recipe choices for a given day (there’s always a basic one and an adventurous one), you can eat vegetables plus your choice of protein instead. The meals are very flexible.
So, are we glad we did the detox? Absolutely!
How will we eat going forward? Our plan is to stick to the guidelines for a couple of months, then start adding in some of the “forbidden” foods to see how they affect us. We feel so good at the moment and we’ve had such success we don’t want to change anything!